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Issue 6, 2018
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Solar H2 generation in water with a CuCrO2 photocathode modified with an organic dye and molecular Ni catalyst

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Abstract

Dye-sensitised photoelectrochemical (DSPEC) cells have emerged in recent years as a route to solar fuel production. However, fuel-forming photocathodes are presently limited by photo-corrodible narrow band gap semiconductors or the small range of available wide bandgap p-type semiconductors such as NiO that display low performance with dyes. Here, we introduce CuCrO2 as a suitable p-type semiconductor for visible light-driven H2 generation upon co-immobilisation of a phosphonated diketopyrrolopyrrole dye with a Ni-bis(diphosphine) catalyst. The hybrid CuCrO2 photocathode displays an early photocurrent onset potential of +0.75 V vs. RHE and delivers a photocurrent of 15 μA cm−2 at 0.0 V vs. RHE in pH 3 aqueous electrolyte solution under UV-filtered simulated solar irradiation. Controlled potential photoelectrolysis at 0.0 V vs. RHE shows good stability and yields a Ni catalyst-based turnover number of 126 ± 13 towards H2 after 2 h. This precious metal-free system outperforms an analogous NiO|dye/catalyst assembly and therefore highlights the benefits of using CuCrO2 as a novel material for DSPEC applications.

Graphical abstract: Solar H2 generation in water with a CuCrO2 photocathode modified with an organic dye and molecular Ni catalyst

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
16 Oct 2017
Accepted
26 Nov 2017
First published
27 Nov 2017

This article is Open Access
All publication charges for this article have been paid for by the Royal Society of Chemistry

Chem. Sci., 2018,9, 1439-1447
Article type
Edge Article

Solar H2 generation in water with a CuCrO2 photocathode modified with an organic dye and molecular Ni catalyst

C. E. Creissen, J. Warnan and E. Reisner, Chem. Sci., 2018, 9, 1439 DOI: 10.1039/C7SC04476C

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence. You can use material from this article in other publications without requesting further permissions from the RSC, provided that the correct acknowledgement is given.

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